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What happens when two powerful forces in Judaism collide? In this episode, we examine the events surrounding the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, and the ensuing religious and cultural clashes when the refugees resettled amid the Jewish communities of Morocco. 

List of Terms:

  • Dhimmi: (Arabic) Protected person; refers to specific individuals living in Muslim lands, who were granted special status and safety in Islamic law in return for paying the capital tax.
  • Mellah: (Arabic) Walled Jewish quarter of cities in Morocco
  • Dalalat al-Ha’irin: (Arabic) Guide for the Perplexed; Philosophical treatise written by Maimonides
  • Kasbah: (Arabic) A citadel in North African cities
  • Conversos: (Spanish) Converts; refers to Jews, or descendants of Jews, who converted to Catholicism during the 14th and 15th centuries 
  • Megorashim: (Hebrew) Refugees; refers to the Jewish refugees from Spain who fled to Morocco
  • Toshavim: (Hebrew) Residents; refers to the indigenous Jews of Morocco as distinct from the Jewish refugees from Spain
  • Halakha: (Hebrew) Jewish religious law
  • Talmud: (Hebrew) Body of Jewish law from Babylon, dating around 5th century AD
  • Mishneh Torah: (Hebrew) Code of Jewish law authored by Maimonides
  • Kabbalah: (Hebrew) Jewish esoteric school of thought generally concerned with ontological questions
  • Kosher: (Hebrew) Jewish dietary restrictions
  • Takkanot (of Castiel): (Hebrew) Religious ordinances followed by the Jews of Spain in Morocco
  • Ketubah: (Hebrew) Jewish marriage contract
  • Rabbinic Judaism: (English) Common in Jewish communities from the 6th century AD, recognizing the divinity of both the written and oral Torah, and empowering of a body of Rabbis

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